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Total Articles: 7

Supreme Court Generally Disapproves of a Discovery-Rule Exception to Federal Statutes of Limitations

Not so long ago, federal courts began to hold that a federal statute of limitations did not run until the plaintiff knew or reasonably should have known of his or her claim. This is commonly called the “discovery rule.” The rule originated in state court tort cases involving surgical implements left in patients who did not discover their surgeons’ negligence until long after the limitations period had run.

Justices Ignite "Fire" In Disparate Impact Case.

With Justice Antonin Scalia writing a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case brought by a group of African-American firefighter applicants who alleged that the city of Chicago's applicant selection process had a disparate impact on African-Americans in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, the applicants challenged the city's decision to exclude employment applicants who did not achieve a certain score on an examination - but not the city's decision to adopt that employment practice. The Court ruled that a plaintiff who does not file a timely charge challenging the adoption of a practice nevertheless may assert a disparate impact claim in a timely charge challenging the employer's later application of that practice so long as he or she alleges each of the elements of a disparate impact claim.

High Court Decision Addresses Disparate Impact.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held yesterday that a plaintiff who does not file a timely charge challenging the adoption of a particular employment practice may nevertheless assert a disparate impact claim that challenges the employer’s subsequent application of that practice. Lewis v. City of Chicago, No. 08-974 (May 24, 2010).

Supreme Court Deals Blow to Employers in Disparate Impact Cases.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed employees and job applicants a victory by recognizing that, in a disparate impact (i.e., unintentional discrimination) case, the Title VII statute of limitations is measured from the employer's adoption and each subsequent use of an unlawful employment practice. Each use of an unlawful employment practice – such as multiple rounds of hiring based on a written test that has a disparate impact on minority applicants – is now considered a new violation of Title VII, which will make it easier for employees to file timely claims.

Supreme Court Limits Title VII Pay Discrimination Cases (pdf).

On May 29, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 limits the damages an employee can recover when isolated disriminatory acts from the distant past result in disparity in the employee's current level of pay.

Slender Sup. Ct. Majority Promotes Certainty In Incentive Pay Plans.

Like many employers, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. based its employees' salary at least partially on the performance reviews of supervisors and managers to whom employees report. Better performance reviews were rewarded with corresponding pay raises.

Supreme Court Requires Timely Challenge To Pay Decisions

In a sweeping decision, a 5-4 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, split along ideological lines, ruled today that Title VII plaintiffs must timely challenge particular pay decisions and cannot rely on the continuing violation theory to reach back to allegedly discriminatory decisions made before the charge filing period established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 05-1074, U.S. Supreme Court (May 29, 2007).
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